Ecover showcases sustainable plastics in garden design at 2013 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Our-First-Home-17_ROT1The threat posed to UK coastal and inland waterways by the careless disposal of plastic has inspired the design of the Ecover garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (9 – 14 July). Designed by Matthew Childs, the garden uses strips of sustainably sourced plastic, which are woven in with the garden’s planting, to highlight the need to save our rivers, lakes and oceans from pollution.

Created by Ecover, the world’s largest producer of ecological cleaning products, The Ecover Garden capitalises on new technologies to use sustainable plastics to encourage consumers to consider the environmental impact of the products they use. The recycled plastic in the garden represents Ecover’s pioneering spirit in the field of sustainability, using both plant based ingredients in their products and sustainable recycled plastic in their packaging.

Water is fundamental to the design of the garden both literally and figuratively. Plants are used to represent the colour and movement of water, as they meander around a gravel path and monolithic walls are inspired by coastal cliffs and river gorges. A plastic toilet cleaner fountain, bottle-handle bench and laundry cap lamp emphasise the role of Ecover’s work in helping to make a healthy and sustainable lifestyle an easy choice for consumers, which in turn aids the recovery of our water systems.

Research from the Marine Conservation Society reveals that plastic debris accounts for almost 60 per cent of all litter found on UK beaches, and the UN Environmental Programme estimates that more than 1 million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine mammals die every year from ingesting plastic debris. Nearly two million plastic bottles are used in the UK every day and, whilst UK recycling rates have significantly increased over the past few years*, around 40% of plastic bottles are sent to landfill.

Designer of the Ecover Garden, Matthew Childs says: “The fundamental principle behind this garden is that water is life. We depend upon our aquatic environments, but they are under threat from pollution, including waste plastic in the seas, and toxic residues in our rivers and lakes. It is vital that we act to protect these crucial resources. We want to encourage more people to think about the products and plastics they use and for them to see recycled and plant based plastics as a major contributor to the sustainable future of our waterways.”

“When we think of recycled plastic, we often think of reusing it in its current state, for example the use of plastic bottles as mini-greenhouses to get cuttings started. The Ecover Garden will show how recycled plastic can be a beautiful material in itself, formed into new, practical and sculptural features. We want to change the perception of recycled materials from worthy and limited, to sexy, beautiful and versatile.”

Ecover are sponsors of the Inspire Zone at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which champions cutting edge design and innovation. Thought-provoking Conceptual Gardens, inspirational Low Cost, High Impact Gardens, as well as practical advice, hands-on demonstrations and contemporary shopping stands make it a must for people looking to ideas for any modern garden.

*In 2000, just 3% of plastic bottles were recycled, Now 60% of all plastic bottles in the UK are collected for recycling.

Ecover is the world’s largest producer of ecological cleaning products, using sustainable plant and mineral-based ingredients to create highly effective cleaning products that achieve the lowest possible toxicity and the most rapid and complete biodegradability. Constantly innovating, Ecover continues to expand and improve its product range, including the development of a new eco-surfactant for use in its hard surface cleaners, meaning the range cleans as well as – or better than - the UK’s leading conventional brands. All of Ecover’s plastic bottles are made from Plant-astic – a 100% renewable, reusable and recyclable plastic made from sugarcane. Ecover was the first cleaning brand in the UK to use Plant-astic and has used it across its product range since 2011. For more information on this pioneering brand, visit

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